Relationship Math: Love = Respect

Relationship Math: Love = Respect

By Heather Frederick, a loveisrespect advocate

I know a lot of people don’t like math but there are a handful of rules (it’s not really math!) that can make it easier to navigate your relationships. The decision of whether to stay or leave in any relationship — abusive or not — is a very personal one. No matter what you choose, we want your emotional and physical safety to be your main priority.

Just know that if any kind of abuse is present in your relationship, it’s not likely that it will get better or go away. Abuse is about power and control and usually just gets worse and more dangerous over time. If your partner is abusive you should know that their behavior is their choice — it is never your fault or your responsibility. If you feel like you’ve put too much time into your relationship to end it now, look at it this way: if your partner doesn’t treat you the way you deserve to be treated they have to be the one to change. This brings me to our Principles of a Healthy Relationship:

It Takes Two

For a relationship to be healthy, it takes two people working together with similar desires for the relationship. If only one person is putting in the effort to make the relationship work, not only is it unhealthy, it’s like a boat with one paddle: just going in circles. We can each only control our own actions and words, so there’s no way to “make” someone love you. One person alone cannot make a partnership happen.

The Rule of Equals

A healthy relationship is based on trust, honesty, respect and equality. It is important that both people have an equal say in the relationship, therefore if one person is unhappy they have the right to end the relationship, whether their partner likes it or not. If you are not happy in your relationship, you don’t owe anyone anything, it’s ok to end it and we can help you do that safely!

Trust Theory

Just like you can’t prove to someone that you trust them, you also can’t prove to them that you’re trustworthy. If your partner chooses not to trust you and tries to control what you do or who you hang out with, that’s a big red flag. It’s also important for you to trust your instincts. Fear is the number one sign of abuse so if you ever feel threatened by your partner, talk to someone you can trust (like a loveisrespect advocate!).

Ignore the Variables

Rumors and gossip say a lot more about the people spreading them than they do about the people whose names are being dropped. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, it’s good and healthy for you to have friends of all genders, and maintaining a life outside your relationship will only make your life more interesting!

One Isn’t a Lonely Number

It’s ok to be single. I know it may seem like everyone has a partner but you, but being single can be a lot of fun. Focusing on your hobbies, friendships, schoolwork and family can help you narrow down what makes you happy. If you do find someone you want to start a relationship with, it’s important to set healthy boundaries, be honest and respectful and continue to be the awesome individual you already are!

So to sum up: 1) It takes two people to make a relationship healthy but 2) only one person to end it and 3) trust is super important even though 4) rumors may make it difficult but 5) you don’t need a partner to be happy! You know your situation better than anyone but if you want to talk about anything in your relationship feel free to call, chat or text with us 24/7.

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